Guigal Ermitage Ex Voto Rouge 2015
Deep dark ruby color with mauve tints. The nose opens to black fruits, leather, licorice, coffee flavor and oriental spices. The palate begins with a powerful attack with richness and an important tannic structure. This wine expression fully the terroir trough its finesse and the strength of its tannins. Overally, a wine with great ageing potential, structured and concentrated with a rare intensity of flavor and color.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The rich, powerful, primordial 2015 Hermitage Ex Voto isn’t for those seeking instant gratification and will need a solid decade of bottle age. Incredible notes of crème de cassis, liquid rocks, Asian spices, and toasted bread all emerge from this full-bodied, massively endowed effort. It will most likely merit a triple-digit rating in 4-5 years and will keep for three decades. Rating: 98+
This is a very powerful, sweetly spiced and complex Hermitage with hung meat and very ripe dark berries, delivered amid iodine and dark stones, as well as a core of rich mulberries and blackberries. The palate has an extremely impressive and succulent feel with such intensity and deeply ripe, long, plush tannins. Gossamer smooth finish and long, rich dark-plum flavors. Best from 2025.
Spicy, cedary and firm, the 2015 Ermitage Ex Voto is built tough, like the granite it comes from. Hints of pencil shavings and crushed stone accent mixed red and black fruit, picking up hints of licorice and pepper on the long, tannic finish. Give this another 5-6 years in the cellar, then drink it over the following decade and a half or so.
The Guigal domain was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in the ancient village of Ampuis, home of the wines of the Côte-Rôtie. In these vineyards that are over 2400 years old, you can still see the small terraced walls characteristic of the Roman period. Etienne Guigal arrived in this region in 1923 at the age of 14. He made wine for over 67 vintages and, at the beginning of his career, participated in the development of the Vidal-Fleury establishment.
Despite his young age, Marcel Guigal took over from his father in 1961 when the latter was victim to a brutal illness rendering him blind. Marcel's hard work and perseverance enabled the Guigals to buy out Vidal-Fleury in 1984, although the establishment retains its own identity and commercial autonomy. In 2000, the Guigals purchased the Jean-Louis Grippat estate in Saint-Joseph and Hermitage, as well as the Domaine de Vallouit in Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage.
In the cellars of the Guigal estate in Ampuis, the northern appellations of the Rhône Valley are produced and aged. These are the appellations of Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage. The great appellations of the Southern Rhône, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Tavel and Côtes-du-Rhône, are also aged in the Ampuis cellars.
One of the smallest and most important Syrah regions of northern Rhone, Hermitage is practically one single south-facing slope of crushed granite, thinly covered with varied, yet well-charted soil types. Many climats (well identified parcels) exist within Hermitage and while some smaller producers make single climat Syrahs, some larger ones blend to make one balanced expression of the appellation.
Though the AC regulations allow the addition of up to 15% white grapes to a red Hermitage, in practice it is usually made from Syrah alone. Winemaking is pretty traditional—or you might say historic—with hot fermentations and aging in older barrels of various sizes. The best wines, characterized by deep, dense and sexy flavors of black fruit, cocoa, licorice and tobacco, have massive textures and a solid 10-20 years aging potential.
The region of Hermitage is totally enclosed; the only place it could go really is to literally fall down its own hill into the city of Tain or the Rhone River. Soil erosion is a problem and terraces exist alongside the hill in order to keep the earth in place. Crozes-Hermitage encloses the region entirely to its north and south.
While Hermitage seems synonymous with some of the best Syrah on the planet, actually about one third of the wine produced here comes from white grapes. The full, lush and robust Marsanne or the less common, but almost more charming, Roussanne create wonderful whites in which the best have great potential for aging, like the reds.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”